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Murph: Giants skepticism might be reasonable, but here’s why I’m rejecting it


© Richard Mackson | 2021 Jun 28


The Jock Blog — where Giants fans go to cope with losses to the Dodgers.

It was just a month ago when I had to pen a JB officially *not* conceding the NL West to the Dodgers. The Dodgers had just beaten the Giants on the opening night of a four-game set at Dodger Stadium, and to that point, the Giants had played the Dodgers four times . . . and lost four times.

The very night we published that Jock Blog, Mike Tauchman did this:

Damn, that’s fun to watch, isn’t it?

I should just stop writing right now and have you all watch that, over and over and call it a long holiday weekend.

From that point on, the Giants took the next three in L.A. (!!), and did not lose a series — until Tuesday night in, of all places, Dodger Stadium.

Yep. We’re back to figuring out where the Giants fit in this blue-colored NL West world.

Mind, the Giants are in first place. Mind, the Giants are the only team in baseball with 50 wins. Mind, the Giants have the best record in baseball.

So why do I feel the need to keep assessing the Giants’ place in our universe, and their proper and accurately calibrated expectations?

In fact, the heck with that. Damn the torpedoes and full speed ahead.

I know the Giants are injured. Evan Longoria is out. We don’t know when Brandon Belt will return. Heck, I forgot what Tommy La Stella looks like. And when you face Trevor Bauer and Walker Buehler on back-to-back nights, turns out it’s hard to get a hit with a runner in scoring position.

And yes, it can be argued the Giants are out over their skis. As impressive as Farhan Zaidi’s roster-building is, it’s hard to convince baseball cognoscenti that Steven Duggar, LaMonte Wade, Jr and John Brebbia are the key cogs to a 100-win season. Skepticism is understood, and probably the rational move.

I reject it, however — on grounds both rational and emotional.

It’s July 1 tomorrow, sports fans. We are halfway there, and the Giants matter. Moreover, the club opens a four-game set in Arizona, which sounds as welcoming as an air-conditioned suite with a stocked fridge and a 70” TV.

Moreover, this team has bona fides. They are tied with the Toronto Blue Jays for the most home runs in baseball. Which, when you think back to the sagebrush-drought power days of the late teens, is mind-blowing. Same with the fact that they’re 7th in MLB in runs scored. They have the 4th-best team ERA in all of baseball. You more of a WHIP guy or gal? Yeah, the Giants are #1 in all the land.

Buster Posey is primed to continue his run at “NL MVP For Guys Who Take Every Third Day Off”. Brandon Crawford said the hell with it, I’m having a career year. Kevin Gausman is taking a liking to his new nickname, “West Coast deGrom”. You could argue about the closer’s role, but then again, you’d be arguing with the team with the best record in baseball.

So to heck with the two losses in L.A. The Giants can play with the Dodgers, and will play with the Dodgers — seven critical games between the All-Star Break and the trade deadline will tell us a lot.

I fully expect to be Jock Blogging about the two teams yet again at that time. And fully expect to be as obstinate as I have been. The Giants are staying in this thing.

 

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